The Power of Placenta Stem Cell Banking at Lifebank
You already know that banking your baby’s umbilical cord blood could one day help your child or a close blood relative. When thinking about saving your baby’s cord blood, consider maximizing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collect and protect your child’s placenta stem cells too.
In this article, we will outline what you need to know about the placenta and how you can collect and preserve even more potentially life-saving cells when your baby is born.
What is Placenta Blood?
Placenta blood is the blood that’s left in the placenta after birth. During your pregnancy, the placenta provides your baby with oxygen, water, essential nutrients, and protects your baby against infection.1,2 After birth your baby no longer needs the placenta, but its usefulness doesn’t end with delivery. Like the umbilical cord, the placenta blood is a rich source of stem cells which can be collected and stored if your child or a close family member needs them someday.3
How are Placenta Stem Cells Collected?
Placenta stem cell collection is a quick, easy and painless procedure for the baby and mom. After the baby is born and the placenta is expelled from the mother’s body, it is placed in a canister and subsequently in the Lifebank® collection kit.
How Can These Cells Save Lives?
Just like the cells found in cord blood, the placenta stem cells can be used for life-saving transplants to treat diseases including leukemia, certain metabolic abnormalities, and inherited diseases of the immune system or red blood cells. Stem cell transplants work by replacing other cells in the body that have either been destroyed or stopped working properly.4
What are the Benefits of Banking Placenta Stem Cells?
When you bank placenta stem cells in addition to cord blood you potentially increase the number of cells that are collected and preserved.5 Here are three reasons why having more cells matters:
- Research studies have shown that transplanting more stem cells can improve transplant success and survival. 6,7,8
- Preserving more stem cells means they could be used to treat more than one health condition that may affect your child or other close family member in the future.
- Placenta blood increases your collection of other types of stem cells that have shown promise in regenerative medicine. This is an area of groundbreaking clinical research that involves the use of stem cells to repair or regrow damaged tissues and organs.9
When Do I Need to Decide to Bank Placenta Stem Cells?
You only have one chance to collect and store umbilical cord blood and placenta stem cells. If you want to save more cells and have greater peace of mind, talk with your family and your doctor before your due date about the decision to save placenta blood along with cord blood.
Since 2006, Lifebank® has been offering parents the option of adding placenta blood banking to cord blood banking. Furthermore, these cells are being put to work – as of December 2020, Lifebank® has released 42 placenta blood units for transplant.10 In addition, Lifebank® is the first and only private cord blood bank to provide a unit of stem cells from placenta blood for a successful transplant.
For example, get inspired by Quentin, a little boy whose life was saved using his sister’s placenta and cord blood.
- Mayo Clinic. Placenta: how it works, what’s normal. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/placenta/art-20044425.
- NHS. What is the placenta? Available at http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2309.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=135
- Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. What is cord blood? Available at http://parentsguidecordblood.org/what/.
- American Cancer Society. Stem Cell Transplant (Peripheral Blood, Bone Marrow, and Cord Blood Transplants). Available at http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003215-pdf.pdf.
- Moise K Jr. Umbilical cord stem cells. Obstet Gynecol. 2005;106(6):1393-1407.
- Data on file A, LifebankUSA; 2010.
- Gluckman E, Rocha V. Donor selection for unrelated cord blood transplants. Curr Opin Immunol. 2006;18(5):565-570.
- Schoemans H, Theunissen K, Maertens J, Boogaerts M, Verfaillie C, Wagner J. Adult umbilical cord blood transplantation: a comprehensive review. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2006:38(2):83-93.
- Harris DT, Badowski M, Ahmad N, et al. The potential of cord blood stem cells for use in regenerative medicine. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2007;7(9):1311-1322.
- Lifebank® Units Released for Transplant, as of December 9, 2020.